Discover the Metropol Parasol Structure in Seville
By Sofía Maqueda |
Visit the Metropol Parasol Structure and find archaeological remains, modern architecture and the best views of Seville’s Historic Center.
Metropol Parasol Structure a Cultural Heritage of Spain
Throughout the last decades Spain has done an outstanding job creating strategies that promote World Heritage through tourism and becoming one of the world’s most emblematic and meaningful touristic destinations. Among its multiple attractions you’ll find Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Aqueduct of Segovia, the Historic Center of Avila, Alhambra of Granada, and, of course, the Metropol-Parasol structure in Seville. It’s an iconic project not only because of its monumental architecture but also because of the interesting history that surrounds its wooden structure, considered the biggest one in the world.
Metropol Parasol Project
Seville’s City Hall created a contest that invited people to send proposals for a new building at Encarnación square. Their purpose was to turn the square into a place designed for artistic and cultural development. The winner of said contest was the architect Jürgen Mayer, who presented the plans for Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnation’s Mushrooms, as the building is commonly known). When you visit the Metropol Parasol structure you’ll notice that the building is irregular and doesn’t have a specific shape; for this reason, people have interpreted it in many different ways.
The project proposed a design with four functional levels and six huge linked sunshades covering a great part of the 3,000m2 square. Also, the structure included a winding 250-meter long scenic overlook and an area with restaurants.
Nowadays, the Metropol Parasol structure is mainly a place where people meet and that differs greatly from the medieval architecture that surrounds it. As one would expect, its architectural qualities are the reason why before, during and after its construction the complex inspired criticism against its presence in that landscape of this region of Spain.
Actually, a few days after it was inaugurated the Metropol Parasol in May 2011, there was a protest by the Democracia Real movement that criticized the building as well as the philosophy behind its construction; however, other people added to that complaint the fact that the construction had been quite costly.
If you want to learn more about this conflict, read the work by writer Maya F. J. Hernández, who narrated everything that happened during these protests and afterwards in El proyecto Metropol Parasol: de la negación a la apropiación. There, apart from telling the story of this site, she explains the ideological, political, social and cultural situations that surrounded the construction, as well as its transformation into a cultural and touristic attraction.
Archaeological Remains at the Metropol Parasol
Despite the tension that preceded the building’s creation, it finally fulfilled its purpose of being functional. That’s why it houses the Antiquarium, an area where they safeguard archaeological remains that serve as a chronological precedent of the Metropol Parasol structure.
An interesting fact is that the archaeological remains were found recently. It was in 1990 when, as part of the project to build an underground parking lot in the central square, the excavations began and the discovery was made. In the end, the project was canceled and in 2011 the Antiaquarium Archaeological Museum was inaugurated under the Metropol Parasol structure.
The 3 Main Areas of the Antiaquarium
- The Archaeological Walk, is a 400m footbridge that shows some of the archaeological remains. The good news is that this area is the prelude to the museum, so you can visit it for free and you can see it even if the museum is closed.
- The Archaeological room, exhibits all the Roman archaeological remains that have being found, dating back from II to VI centuries. This room is equipped with digital screens, which show projections of how the placed looked in the past.
- Multipurpose area, mainly used for cultural events. To see the schedule of the events in this month, click here.
Visiting the Antiaquarium will depend of your interests and the time you have scheduled to visit the Metropol Parasol structure and the Seville’s Historic Center. However, DINKtravelers recommends to begin your visit in the Archaeological Walk.
Then continue to the upper levels that reflect modern times with their sunshades and overlook from which you can contemplate Seville’s main buildings including the Cathedral and Giralda Bell Tower.
Main Touristic Attractions in Seville’s Historic Center
The city of Seville has a history of more than 3,000 years. In there you can find the cultural heritage of Romans, Visigoths, Muslims and Christians. That is why, as par of your visit to the Metropol Parasol structure, you must include a walking tour inside the Historic Center.
There are many attractions that you can visit inside the Seville’s Historic Center. DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, recommends you visit the Cathedral, the Orange Tree Courtyard, the Giralda Tower, Royal Alcazar, and Plaza de España.
After your visit to the Metropol Parasol structure you’ll also have countless things to do and places to visit in its surroundings. For example, go to a flamenco music show or sevillana dances in nearby bars. In addition, you will have the opportunity to try the great gastronomic offer of the region, such as Iberico ham, gazpacho, marzipan, in nearby restaurants.
Opening hours of the Metropol Parasol Structure
The Metropol Parasol opens from 10:00 to 23:30 and entrance tickets cost 3 Euros. Your visit will confront you with the contrasts of past and present times, both of which live in the structure and, above all, in the people who are part of its history.
Now that you know everything about the Metropol Parasol structure, do not forget to include it in your next tour through the Seville’s Historic Center.